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Designer duo create new luxury leather brand

Sam Lewis Windridge explains how he and co-founder Katie Forbes gave their own brand of leather goods a timeless feel and luxury look.

The branding was given a sophisticated look through careful use of typography and a muted colour scheme

"Everything starts with a sketch," says graphic designer Sam Lewis Windridge, who recently launched luxury small leather and canvas goods brand Forbes & Lewis with co-founder Katie Forbes. "Once we’re happy with the concept, we start to draw it up."

Forbes & Lewis pays homage to world heritage and traditional fashion styles, mixing the founders’ love of traditional leather craftsmanship and "all things old and worn" with contemporary ideas. And from the products themselves through to the branding and identity of the label, all design is kept in-house, affording Windridge and Forbes complete creative control.

All design is kept in-house, affording Windridge and Forbes complete creative control

To reflect the company ethos of "high-quality, understated craftsmanship", Windridge kept the branding clean and crisp, injecting class and sophistication through a carefully selected font (Arno Pro Display) and a pared-back colour scheme.

As well as designing two logos, the website and point-of-sale collateral, the pair paid particular attention to the brand’s packaging: as with the products themselves, Forbes & Lewis gift boxes have a classic, timeless feel and come complete with ribbon, swing ticket, and cotton dust bag.

The duo always start with a concept using sketching, then build from there

With both inputting an equal amount into the look and feel of the brand, do the duo ever encounter creative differences? "Working together really isn’t a problem for us," reflects Windridge. "We spend a lot of time planning, discussing and refining ideas to get the exact look we’re after for both product and marketing concepts. But we’re both very different in the way we approach our work, and I think this helps us complement each other’s strengths to perform better as a company."

  • This interview was originally published in Computer Arts issue 208.

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